Texas Unemployment Rate Edges Up Slightly

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images/John-Francis Bourke

    The Texas unemployment rate edged up in November, but the state saw a sign of economic recovery from Hurricane Ike with a slight increase in the number of jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday.

    Unemployment went up to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent in October, while the state added 7,300 nonagricultural jobs, according to the commission. In September, the state saw its first net job loss in more than a year.

    The Beaumont-Port Arthur area had the state's second-biggest monthly drop in unemployment, from 8.2 percent to 7.8 percent.

    "Despite a slight increase in the unemployment rate statewide, the falling unemployment rates in Southeast Texas reflect that those adversely affected by the impact of Hurricane Ike are getting back to work," commission chairman Tom Pauken said in a statement.

    The November unemployment rate is up sharply over the year-ago period, when it was 4.2 percent. The national unemployment rate climbed to 6.7 percent in November. It was 4.7 percent a year ago.

    "While Texas is holding our own compared to national trends, we continue to feel the impact of the U.S. and international economic downturn," Pauken said.

    Leisure and hospitality added 4,300 jobs in November for an industry gain of 38,000 jobs in the past year, according to commission figures. Education and health services grew by 2,100 jobs last month.

    The biggest job losses came in manufacturing, which dropped 2,200 positions. Information lost 1,000 jobs.

    The number of initial unemployment claims eased in November to 89,769 from 110,370 in October, when the number also doubled from a month earlier.

    Unemployment rates are adjusted for seasonal trends in hiring and firing, which most economists believe gives a better picture of the job market.

    Without the seasonal adjustment, the Texas unemployment rate rose to 5.6 percent in November from 5.4 percent in October.

    Midland had the lowest nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. The McAllen area had the highest at 8.2 percent.

    Following are the preliminary November jobless rates for local areas in Texas, with revised October numbers in parentheses. The local figures are not seasonally adjusted.

    Abilene 4.4 (4.1)

    Amarillo 4.0 (3.8)

    Austin-Round Rock 5.0 (4.8)

    Beaumont-Port Arthur 7.8 (8.2)

    Brownsville-Harlingen 7.8 (7.4)

    College Station-Bryan 4.4 (4.1)

    Corpus Christi 5.3 (5.2)

    Dallas-Plano-Irving 5.8 (5.6)

    El Paso 6.9 (6.7)

    Fort Worth-Arlington 5.5 (5.2)

    Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 5.5 (5.4)

    Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 5.6 (5.4)

    Laredo 6.0 (5.6)

    Longview 4.6 (4.5)

    Lubbock 4.1 (3.9)

    McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 8.2 (7.7)

    Midland 3.3 (3.1)

    Odessa 3.9 (3.7)

    San Angelo 4.7 (4.5)

    San Antonio 5.4 (5.1)

    Sherman-Denison 5.7 (5.4)

    Texarkana 5.1 (5.0)

    Tyler 5.3 (6.4)

    Victoria 4.7 (4.4)

    Waco 4.9 (4.6)